Archive for December 17, 2008

Dogs are Better Than Prozac

Another headline from the “this really wasn’t news to dog people” files. reports:

UBC professor and author Stanley Coren says dogs work better than Prozac, a prescription antidepressant — and that’s no exaggeration.

According to a study published recently in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, the positive effects of having a familiar, friendly dog close by include lowered blood pressure, slowed heart beat and more relaxed muscles — all signs of reduced stress.

Unlike prescription medications, the positive effects of having a beloved canine close by are also achieved much faster than pills. It took only five to 24 minutes for people to exhibit signs of reduced stress when they were with their dog, compared with the days or weeks it can take before people benefit from the effects of prescription medications intended to deal with stress and depression, according to Coren’s book.

Anyone who shares their life with a dog knew this already.  Had a bad day?  Take your four-legged friend out for a long walk then snuggle for a while on the couch – problem solved.  Your dog’s existential, live in the moment philosophy will rub off on you — at least for a while — and you can let your cares go in the joy of those moments with him.  Why do we feel this way about dogs?  In an interview the Ottowa Citizen Coren replied:

… “God may have created humans, but humans created dogs,” he said.

He explained that in the last 14,000 years, humans have tinkered with breeding so that dogs have become near-perfect companions, and in societies with smaller family units, a bona fide member of the family.


Dr. Coren gets a “fix” from Zip and Audie

December 17, 2008 at 6:08 am 2 comments

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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December 2008